Milan, Italy


June 22, 2011

[Barnaby Nelson], [Mario], [Michele l'Ulysse], [Dave Walker], [Trevor Townson] [Wayne and Belinda Goelst]

Review by Barnaby Nelson

Having seen the Oz shows earlier in the year I had pretty high  
expectations for this show, especially given the club venue.

There was a slightly late start and we were wondering whether this  
could mean that a last minute set list revision was going on. Who  
knows, but the set list was certainly shaken up – Pill box hat,  
Masterpiece, ‘Till I fell in love w you, Can’t Wait, Levee, I don’t 
believe you, Visions of J, Forgetful heart. A lyric change during 
Masterpiece, but I couldn’t quite make it out – during the gondola/ Coca
Cola lines. Was nice to hear, especially after having been in  Rome for
the previous week. Beautiful instrumentation and singing  during Visions.
He sang the lines carefully in a descending melody  line, sometimes
extending vowels for a veeeeeery long time.

Dylan is clearly fit and in strong voice. He jogged to the keyboard 
Leonard Cohen style (didn’t think I’d ever write that). Apart from the 
song selection the thing that blew me away was how theatrically he was 
performing. For many of the songs he would prowl around the stage  (front
right, front left, centre, all the way back again) with hand  held mic
‘acting out’ the drama of the lyrics with heaps of theatrical  hand and
body movements and facial expressions. Yes, there’s a bit of  Al Jolson
about it, a bit of ‘50s crooner, but more than a heavy dose  of mad
preacherman having a rant. Brilliant stuff. The closest thing  I’ve ever
seen to this is the footage of the Prague ’95 shows. It was  most evident
during Can’t Wait, Forgetful Heart, and Thin Man. Can’t  Wait featured a
final line of about four “I don’t know”s in a row  before the final
refrain. He was really interacting fully with the  audience, who were
giving him plenty of energy back. This was  definitely a small club
setting feel – low stage, not a great distance  from the audience. Not
quite as close as Mercury Lounge, Melbourne 98  but pretty similar.

The very good guitar playing during the Oz tour continued here. He  
played some nice dirty bluesy licks during ‘Till I fell which got  
Charlie smiling.

There were technical problems – the mic cord didn’t seem to reach long 
enough, the singing mic and harmonic mic cords kept getting tangled  up,
he didn’t seem to be able to hear himself properly at times – but  this
all added to the drama of what was going on and pushed him more  into
being in the moment. He kept moving the mic stand during the  songs,
sometimes moving over to sing with the keyboard vocal mic with  guitar
still strapped on, then going over to Donnie to let loose about  the
technical problems.

For the great people I met on the Dylan trail, enjoy the rest of the 
shows – looks like a fine vintage.


Review by Mario

A fine show. The venue was great, quite small, good sound and very clean.
The newer songs stood up as well as the older ones. I must say that in the
last 35 years I can't remember how many times I've seen him but I can
tell you that I've seen amazing shows and not so good ones but this
Milan show was very unusual. There were a lot of changes in his set list
and he was doing a lot of walking around  the stage with his hands in his
pockets. Often he preferred to sing  in the dark but he was in great form.
Charlie was as cool as can be and as always the band was faultless. In
fact anyone that was there do share some thoughts with me at . Hurry back Bob.


Comments by Michele l'Ulysse

At 70, being tired, being crazy abd crazier, in very good voice, being worn out
sometimes (not last night in Milano),

Bob is still the fucking greatest rocker in the whole wide universe!

The show was good, solid, BUT his energy was special,

AND I hope a video of Milano will surface, because otherwise what happened
on stage will not be explainable,

Can't wait and Ballad of a thin man, those have been out of control...

No review, you (we) need a video!

Michele l'Ulysse


Comments by Dave Walker

When I walked into the venue I had horrible flashbacks to the Terminal 5 pit 
in New York last year but thankfully it turned out not to be the case because 
as the place filled up I could still see the stage from about halfway back

Just after 9pm local time Bob was on stage opening with a shambolic 'Leopard 
Skin Pillbox Hat' followed by a difficult to hear the words version of 'When I
Paint My Masterpiece'. In fact I could only make out the words 'Rome' and 
Coca Cola' plus the title line. At this point my heart began to sink as I thought
it might not happen tonight. However during 'Till I Fell In Love With You' the
vocals became clear and from then on it was uphill all the way.

During Tweedle they turned the light aimed at Bob off, presumably because 
of all the flashing cameras. The entire band were lit up but out front Bob was 
just a silhoette.Fortunately this didn't seem to deter Bob because next he did 
an absolutely superb version of 'Can't Wait'. Lights were back on and Bob was 
walking back and forth across the stage with only the mike and his voice; ' I 
can't I can't I can't I can't wait', sung with amazing passion. I hope all get to 
hear the brilliance of this moment. Nothing was going to top this but we were 
treated to wonderful versions of 'Visions', 'Forgetful Heart' and 'Thin Man' 

After the encores we all left only to discover the stage door was next to the 
entrance so I stood dutiful by the crash barriers and within seconds Bob 
emerged surrounded by the band. He stopped to collect some flowers of a
fan and lingered there for a few seconds. Whether he spoke I couldn't tell as 
everyone was cheering but Bob was clearly happy and shuffling about as he 
took the flowers before boarding the bus

Its a while since I've been to a Bob concert were I've been punching the air 
with utter joy as he hit the mark time and time again.

I can't I can't I can't I can't wait for Mainz

David Walker


Review by Trevor Townson

"Could you say that again in English please" No, I was not yet in Milan or
anywhere near Italy at this point but still sitting in my car waiting at the
ticket barrier to enter Long Stay Car Park Number One at Birmingham airport. A
guy was fixing the ticket machine and was having to manually give out the
parking tickets as part of the repair task in hand. I believe it was Jasper
Carrott who commented on the Birmingham accent by saying something to the effect
"Brummies don't talk they sing and if you ain't got the music you're buggered",
well I didn't and I was. I had encountered the broadest Brummie accent possible
and understood not one word. "No, could you say that again please". No sorry,
could you say that again please". No, what did you say". "No, still not quite
got it yet". "No, still not quite got it all yet". "No could you say that again
please". "Ah, spaces in F and G, cheers mate, that will save me some time".
Unfortunately I had left my copy of Chronicles at home so on the plane I had to
resort to the in flight magazine as I picked up the 'Flybe Uncovered'
complimentary magazine May June 2011 issue from the pocket of the seat in front
of me. Time for a little light reading to relax. What the hell, Seven Curses,
how do Take That get a total of seven pages devoted to them when no more than a
third of a page is devoted to Bob in honour of his 70th birthday. Not a good
start as I read the title, 'FOREVER YOUNG'. Mmm, this sounds like it is really
going to be a serious piece of investigative in the know journalism with a title
as originally thought out as that. My fear came true as it was all the usual
Bobs bollocks incorporated within it such as - 'His shows are no visual
extravaganza, there's no amazing lighting or effects' - the artical was not
actually attributed to anyone so I do not know if it was written by a Michael or
a John or whoever it was so let us just refer to him as a Dick. So look Dick,
when going to see Bob Dylan you are going to see a living artist at work
performing his craft, if you want all those other things go and watch a bloody
Star Wars movie instead. There is more - 'It's highly unlikely that he will move
more than a knee joint, he more than likely will not communicate with the
audience and he'll finish as soon or as late as he's had enough' -  Well Dick,
two out of three is not bad but you have obviously not seen Bob perform lately.
Just cannot shut him up talking to the audience these days on all manner of
things. Makes you feel like shouting "Bob please shut up talking and just sing
the bloody songs, that is all that we are here for". What a load of crap, no
wonder Bob gets so misunderstood. Must be really frustrating for Bob it being
pretty much impossible for him to defend himself against stuff like that. I
guess after so many years Bob has resigned himself to the fact that there is not
much that he can do about it all now. Thankfully in the end for me the artical
had been limited to just a third of a page as seven pages would have got me
reaching into the seat pocket in front of me once again but this time for the
sick bag. How does such rubbish manage to get into print in the first place,
guess it just goes to show how little people actually know about Bob as it is
even possible to write about myths and perceptions instead of facts and that is
still considered quite acceptable for the mainstream of society. Well my first
visit to Italy thanks to the Bob Dylan Touring Agency. This agency has been set
up for people wishing to travel to places where they can experience exceptional
artistic beauty of the most unique kind which can only be found by following the
Tour Guide. Having signed up for another trip with the agency I finally arrived
in the building site that is Milan. Really I have never seen so much
construction work going on. What seemed like the best part of half of the city
was being redeveloped all at the same time. Some really huge constructions by
the look of things too; Buildings goin' up to the sky. Got me puzzled as I had
visions of people working from thousands of office tents outside of the city
limits as my mind was thinking - where are all the people now who previously
occupied these presently vacant areas. Then again where are all the people going
to come from to fill all of these tall buildings when they finally get finished?
Even mid afternoon Bob was creating quite a pressence in the street outside of
the venue. Two parked up black buses on the entrance side of the venue and the
huge Rock n Roll Trucking lorry on the other. Still, more was yet to come as a
third black bus pulls up right outside the entrance door. This caused the people
queuing to break line at that point in order to get a better look. I did not
move to go with them so quickly found myself forming the back of the queue at
that point. People where raising themselves for a better view. Raising anything
capable of taking a picture too, as high as they could above their heads in the
direction of the bus. All this helped to almost totally block out what little
view I had of things but I do believe that between a gap that briefly appeared
between all the tightly bunched up people I saw George Recile disembark from the
side doors of the bus. The bus had parked at quite an angle to the curb which
caused quite a few horn pips from some Italian motorists who are not best known
for their patience! Really I could not see much of what went on so I am not
qualified to report on this aspect. Hey, wait a minute that does not matter does
it as this is Bob Dylan. Anything can be said and gotten away with and believed
as true, so lets do a retake on this. The afternoon was heavy and hot, suddenly
the atmosphere changed, there was a pleasant cooling of the air and you could
sense a presence of something special which defied description. It was like
experiencing something not of this world, something from another galaxy.
Suddenly there it was before our eyes as the mother ship uncloaked. Shining
black with silver band constructed from materials not of our universe. Beamed in
from a gazillion light years away but only taking twenty five minutes to make
the journey and landing in perfect alignment with the curb. All the Italian
motorists stoped their vehicles and switched off their engines in respect before
getting out of their cars to bow down in the road in adulation to the superior
beings enclosed within. A rainbow formed over the craft but this was not a
rainbow of this world. The rainbow was made up of only bright light colours from
white, through yellow, then orange to gold. Unlike worldly rainbows this
particular rainbow really did have a pot of gold at each end clearly visible to
the front and back of the imposing black starship. Silently and seamlessly two
doors open in the side of the ship to reveal pure brilliant white light within
through which steps George Recile accompanied by a number of  orbs that looked
to be made only of bright coloured light that darted rapidly around the space
surrounding him. George then walks slowly into the buiding whilst the orbs of
light continue to dart around in their surveying and protecting roles. It was
not possible to see Behind The Light so whether Bob was there or not I could not
tell. No doubt if Bob did appear to enter the building he would also have been
cloaked so nobody would have seen him in any case. So what were the main things
of interest to me and how many marks out of ten do I get for observation on this
night? I am not sure that the usual introduction was included tonight, you know
the one that goes something like Ladies and Gentlemen, PLEASE WELCOME THE POET
LORD IT UP OF ROCK & ROLL blah de blah de blah. It probably was included but
again it was no doubt me not paying due attention again. There is no way that
anyone could remember everything that occured during this particular concert.
You would need to have been writing constantly using short hand throughout to
have had any chance of catching anywhere near half of what went on. I am no note
taker anyway and certainly not whilst seeing and hearing surely the greatest
music ever written being performed by the maestro himself. At one stage it was
quite puzzling as Bob on keyboard stood back for a while doing nothing but flick
his hair back behind his collar a few times, clearly he was not doing that on
this particular night whilst thinking 'I do not know why I bother'. Charlie got
opportunity to solo again with a fantastic guitar piece at one point but not
having pen or paper or the wish to write anything down at that point I do not
have a clue where it sat in the performance. What a sham start to Tweedle Dee &
Tweedle Dum tonight as Bob and Charlie seemed totally at odds with each other
and it could not have been worse if they had rehearsed it that way. Bob did
everything but bump into Charlie as he wandered around plucking and strumming. I
think he even wandered to his keyboard with guitar in hand at one point, really
it was all over the place. They straightened things out eventually as things
came together then the song took off in the end with Bob ending up front centre
of the stage, that's that sorted then. To review a show like this is not really
possible to do, you had to be there. Never seen Bob anywhere near so animated as
he was this night. He brought his microphone stand right to the front of the
stage. He also took the microphone from the stand and walked about all over the
stage on lots of occassions, even going right up to the front almost leaning
towards the crowd. Actually never mind the almost leaning, he did lean right at
the crowd. Lots of interaction with the crowd both stage right and stage left.
All done in a way that made it seem the most natural way for Bob to perform. Bob
was totally confident wherever he found himself on stage, in fact the stage did
not seem big enough for him, certainly the microphone and guitar leads fell
short of where he wanted to go at times. Bobs playing was absolutely spot on
with some exceptional key board as good as I can recall having ever heard from
him. His singing was probably the best that I have heard him ever sing like
live. I was amazed how so much change to his performance style could work so
well as nothing seemed to get overly compromised. I think the only problem areas
were minor technical issues with lead lengths and positions which makes me
think; How dark is that stage going to end up? At least the older and more
traditionalist followers of Bob will be happy that he is now going back to
performing his stuff in the dark just like in the 60's. Probably a cost cutting
excercise too as it also looks like the concert incense has had to go as well to
reduce fixed costs. Think they are taking things a little too far though by not
allowing Bob just a few extra yards of cable length for his microphones. Bet
there are words exchanged between Bob and his Management later about that, would
love to be a fly on the wall to listen in. Bob: Look I am listed in Time
magazine as one of the top 100 most important people of the century and you are
telling me that I cannot have three yards more of cable. Management: Actually
twice that as you have two microphones now that you wander around with so that
makes six yards. Thought you were a mathematically musician. Bob: Dont play with
my words, they are all copyright you know and I could have your ass in court for
using em. Management:So who are the other 99 most important people? Bob: I don't
know so they are obviously not that important, anyway stop changing the subject,
can I or can I not have a longer cable, sorry cables various, damn forgot a
couple of guitar leads too. Management: Look Bob you did not mention that you
were going to change your act so radically when we set the tour budgets at the
beginning of the year, El presidente will not be pleased if we overspend and we
do not want to upset the man from Columbia do we. Look can you not just go back
to being miserable again, well at least till the end of  the year. Bob: Look you
just do not understand me, I am a creative genius, I cannot perform to spread
sheets and ledger books. Management: Bob you recently wrote Workingmans Blues so
surely as a workingman yourself you can understand, Life Is Hard. We cannot just
go spending without any pay back as the books need to be balanced. Bob: Look I
have already reduced the electricity bill by dimming the lights. If it gets much
darker I could end up on my ass and it would not be appropriate for the most
important person of the Century to do that. Management: I thought you were in
the top 100 not number 1?. Bob: Look I can be what I want, you know if I don't
like something about me I just change it, name, birthday, importantness, anyway
I am obviously going to be the most important person who is still alive.
Management: The Dalai Lama is still alive and I think that Sir Clive Sinclair is
too? Bob: But that crazy guy made that daft vehicle called the C5. Management:
Yeah Bob but you made that daft movie called Hearts Of Fire which everybody
thought was crazy too. Bob: Look can I get those longer leads or not, I got
contacts you know. Mick Jagger is only a phone call away. He is sure to love
having me come around to his place for lunch sometime. Mick is sure to have some
long second hand leads lying around his place that I can steal, I am not opposed
to taking things for the greater benefit of musical expansion you know so be
warned. Management: How you going to phone him up Bob, your PA is on holiday and
you never used your company mobile as yet. I have the bills to prove it, only $1
a month since we took out the contract, that is just the contractual standard
charge without any calls. Bob: See cost savings for you already, cancel the
contract and that will save another dollar a month, how much cable can I get for
that? Management: Not a lot Bob as we need industrial quality and that don't
come cheap, you see costs do add up. By the way, can you use that mobile phone
yet Bob? Bob: Look, if I can learn to play the guitar, piano, harp, organ and
police car all without instructions I think that I am going to be able to pick
up on learning how to play an electric telephone if I have to. Who gave my PA
permission to go on vacation anyway? Management: We could not stop it, we are in
Europe now. Bob: So what has that got to do with it. Management: Human beings in
Europe have special rights not shared by the rest of the world, they go to a
place called the European Court Of Human Rights and that is straight to where
your PA was marching if we did not bow down. Bob: That's crazy man. I am mid
tour so how am I going to order a late night pizza now without a PA? Eh or maybe
a couple of hundred pizzas just for a laugh? Actually the road crew could have
easily eaten that many between them all but as you know I don't mix with them.
Management:Yes we have been thinking of arranging some team building day for you
all. Anyway try asking your IT dept to shop for a pizza on the internet till
your PA gets back. Bob: You cannot be serious man, takes them at least a week to
come around to my bus just to press one button to get my screen back to proper
size. Management:When in Rome we must do as they do. Bob: But we are not in
Rome. Management: I was speaking metaphorically, as we are in Italy I thought it
close enough. Bob: Don't speak in hidden meanings, you don't get me doing that,
say it as it is in plain English, sorry I mean American, like my music.
Management: What would you prefer Bob, Go Carting or Paint Balling for the team
building event? Bob: Funny how when times are hard we cannot afford a few extra
yards of cable but we can still find the money to afford damn conferences and
team building days that no body really cares about. Anyway since when have I
been a team player? Management: Bob, that is the whole point of it. Bob: Another
thing, I have been thinking about this European Rights Court Appeal thingy
myself and I have worked it out just how much I have been victimised by you lot
over the years whilst performing in Europe so what do you think of that Mr three
yards six yards. Management: What do you mean? Bob: Night time working, after
hours and even weekends and Bank Holidays too, they all  should carry prenium
pay you know or time off in lieu and I have never received either. Management:
So what are you saying? Bob: Not being mathematical to three yards or six yards
I have actually gone the full nine yards and managed to calculate out that
including allowance for interest and inflation I am owed to be paid fifteen
million dollars twelve hundred and seventy two cents in back pay since
performing at Dobell's Jazz Record Shop in London in 1963, now can I have some
bloody longer leads! I Can't Wait to see Bob again but I do not know when that
will be. Guess I will just keep an eye on the Tour Guide and see if anything
that suits me turns up Someone else who was also there on the day was an Italian
lady strangely for once being in her home land. Actually at the present time she
probably uses the Bob Dylan Touring Agency more than anyone else, certainly far
more than me. She must have got her free ticket this night in Milan as passing
by her in the street whilst walking in different directions after the show she
says to me with a smile "At last, a concert". Sorry for not being original
myself but honestly the only thing that I could say back to her in reply was


Review by Wayne and Belinda Goelst


“On a night like this...” My head is swimming with Dylan as we finally
pull into Milan. “...I can write you songs that’ll make a strong man lose
his mind...” I felt the anticipation building as we drove the last 10
kilometres to the venue (aptly named Alcatraz for those of us who have
been captivated by Bob for so many years). “...Are birds free from the
chains of the skyway...?”

Crowds had gathered from 3pm already for the 9pm show, waiting patiently
at the barriers to ensure a front row spot.”...I can’t wait; waiting’s
just making me go blind....”  I count down the last 5 kilometres to take
my mind off them; “...I need something strong to distract my mind; I’m
gonna look at you till my eyes go blind....” find a parking spot and
wander over to the queue.” ...Well I wandered alone through a desert of

After ruffling through some tee shirts before finding one that I
wanted;”...What was it you wanted, can you get it from me?...” we move to
a sidewalk cafe, chilling over a bottle of wine;”...Business men, they
drink my wine, ploughmen dig my earth...” watching the Bobcats stroll
by.”...There was music in the cafes at night and revolution in the
air....”  We all had our little matching tee shirts on; the excitement was
so thick in the air one could hardly breathe. “...It’s a wonder that you
still know how to breathe....”

Two Frenchmen sitting next to us had driven up from Paris. They were
bubbling over with enthusiasm and the younger one and I engaged in some
Dylan swopping. “...Ah but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that
now....” He was only 19 but knew enough Bob to actively engage in some
great conversation; “...Our conversation was short and sweet; it nearly
knocked me off of my feet...” We wished each other well and each hoped for
each others songs to be played as we stepped out into the night. “...Leave
your stepping stones behind, something calls for you....” 

The doors opened and we filed in. My first thought was disbelief at how
small the venue was; “...what looks large from a distance, close up is
never that big...” No bigger than a large school hall with a small dark
stage at the front;”...It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there...”

A small group of fans had secured their spot front centre but it was easy
for us to stand right near where Dylan would be playing keyboard.  “...The
harmonica around my neck I played it for ya’ free...” We waited patiently
for the night to begin.”....In the lonely night, in the blinking stardust
of a pale blue light...”

Just after nine, after a brief introduction, the lights were dimmed and 5
guys in white and one small, older guy in black took their places on the
stage;”...You might be a rock n roll addict prancing on the stage...” The
older guy wore a black suit with gold braiding down the side and a black
Spanish Córdoba’s hat; “...Well I see you’ve got your brand new leopard
skin pill box hat...”

For the last few concerts Dylan has opened with;”Gonna change my way of
thinking”, tonight he changed his way of thinking and launched into a
ramshackle version of “Leopard skin pill box hat”; ”...make myself a
different set of rules...”

Dylan on keyboard, Charlie Sexton on lead guitar and dobra, Tony Garnier
on bass guitar, Stu Kimball on electric guitar, Donnie Heron on pedal
steel and viola, and George Recelli on drums make up Dylan’s current band
on this stretch of  his 22 year long, so called, “Never Ending Tour”. 

The band was faultless and while the lights dimmed Bob moved on to guitar
for his next song;”When I paint my masterpiece”. The lines:”Oh, the
streets of Rome are filled with rubble....” drew a roar of delight from
the Italian crowd. “...They say I shot a man named Grey, took his wife to

Bob picked up his harp for “Till I fell in love with you” but He seemed to
be struggling a little with the harp cord being a little too short;”...The
short and the tall, are coming to the ball...” He tugged on it a few times
to get to the front of the stage and then managed to deliver some
blistering solos.”Well I’m tired of talking, tired of trying to explain/My
attempts to please you were all in vain...”

I watched slack- jawed as Bob tangled up his microphone and his harp cord
and then bent down for a few seconds to unravel them;” ...Tangled up in
blue?...” He then stayed centre stage, on harp for;”I don’t believe you
(She acts like we never have met).”  “ I can’t understand, she let go of
my hand, an’ left me here facing the wall...” Bob sang the lyrics
impeccably from centre stage with lights dimmed, seemingly all alone,
miles from the band. No spotlight on Mr Dylan, the lighting is dark,
mysterious, in tune with his latest work. He squinted once or twice when a
light shone on him; “...I got my back to the sun, ‘cos the light is too
intense...” and then stepped out of the light completely, content to sing
his songs in shadow and silhouette;”...’cos it’s a little too dark to

“Summer Days” and “Spirit on the Water” was flawless. Don’t believe the
nonsense about Dylan’s voice being shot. He can phrase and sing anyway he
wants to. He growls and phrases the words as he pleases, with many a high
note still being reached, sending shivers down my spine!” ...but I’ll know
my song well before I start singing...”

“You think I’m over the hill, you think I’m past my prime...?”  A 70 year
old Dylan sings out in “Spirit On The Water” taunting the fans. A
collective roar of NOOOO! goes up from the Milan crowd of 20 something’s.
Wow. Goose bumps!

Now Bob is prowling up and down the front of the stage, still in shadow,
belting out the lyrics to;”Can’t Wait” The last lines are stretched
to;”an’ I don’t, an’ I don’t, an’ I don’t, an’ I don’t, an’ I don’t
know......., how much longer.....I can wait!”

“....that’s how it is when things disintegrate...”

Bob moves back onto keyboard for “The Levee’s gonna break.” The closing
lyrics of the song;”...Some people are sleeping; some people are wide
awake...” melts into an awesome, dark as the night,” Visions of Johanna”.

” Highway 61 revisited” sends guitar technicians scrambling to help when
he walks into the keyboard in the dark with his guitar still strapped
around his neck.

At one point in-between songs he takes his guitar off and places it on top
of his keyboard loudly knocking the strings, probably giving his
technician on the sound desk a heart attack!

He scatters his set list and then during Charlie’s guitar solo quietly
reorganises it, meticulously placing it gently on top of his keyboard. An
instant later he launches into his vocal, a split second before the music.

Donnie Heron’s lone viola introduces “Forgetful Heart”. Bob moves silently
to centre stage, hands in his pockets “...every little detail, you don’t
remember at all...” he plaintively growls without missing a detail;” The
door has closed forevermore, if indeed there ever was a door...” opens up
doors to your soul so wide, no man can shut.

“Thunder on the Mountain” is followed by an unforgettable; “Ballad of a
Thin Man” Bob is now firmly on top, prowling up and down centre stage,
microphone in hand. In the shadows he is preaching to the crowd, engaging
us intimately in-between harp solos, shaking his finger at us, walking
backwards and forwards like an American preacher, “....something is
happening here but you don’t know what it is, do you...? Mr Jones.......”
he sings, not to us, but at us, accusingly.

He knows exactly what he is saying as he belts out the timeless lyrics;
“He asks you how it feels, and he says” here’s your throat back, thanks
for the loan” 

A thunderous roar for an encore ushers in “Like a Rolling Stone”. Bob lets
the crowd sing;”How does it feel...?” while he growls out; “Princess on
the steeple and all the pretty people, they’re drinkin’, thinkin’ they’ve
got it made” his sermon still in full flight;”...I’m preaching the Word of
God, I’m putting out your eyes...” before launching into; “All Along the
Watchtower” his keyboard riffs wailing Hendrix as never heard before.

Expecting him to close with “Forever Young”, the unmistakable chords of
“Blowin’ in the Wind” catch us by surprise. Bob’s on keyboard and the song
is sung in his new contemporary style, giving the ageless lyrics new
meaning and depth.

“The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.....” is held for a
fraction longer than expected and at the end, six weary musicians line up
at the front of the stage to thunderous applause and desperate cries for

Not a word is spoken. Bob opens his arms, palms up, to thank the band and
the crowd and then he’s gone. The stage hands are already dismantling the
equipment as he slips out the back door, takes a rose from a fan,
disappears into his bus, and he’s gone, “down the highway....”

I wander back into the night, dazed, exhilarated, exhausted, my mind
crystal clear, in sharp focus. Dylan’s blues still wrapped around my head.

Am I awake? No I am not. I am fast asleep. For I know without a doubt

“I dreamed I saw Saint Augustine, alive as you or me

Tearing through these quarters, in the utmost misery

With a blanket underneath his arm, and a coat of solid gold

Searching for the very souls, whom already have been sold.

“Arise, arise,” he cried so loud in a voice without restraint

“Come out ye gifted kings and queens, and hear my sad complaint.

No martyr is among ye now, whom you can call your own

So go on your way accordingly, but know you are not alone...”

Wayne and Belinda Goelst
Milan, 22nd June 2011


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